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Day 2 in Atlanta at the Rug Market

Atlanta - It's Day 2 at the International Area Rug Market here today, and the vendors are stocked with many new offerings - especially flatweaves in lively colors and casual, straightforward patterns as well as updated ikat styles - to appeal to buyers' tastes for these emerging trends in the category.

Price point also continues to be central to churning new business, and vendors seem keenly aware of this. Some continue to offer new high-price brackets but all are hitting a more aggressive price point range to stay relevant as shoppers are expected to remain somewhat reserved in their area rug shopping this year.

 

Here's a sampling of what some suppliers brought to market this week:

* Steve Roan, president of Karastan Rugs, summed his company's approach to product, looking ahead: "We are taking advantage of our position as the largest rug manufacturer in the world, and utilizing our inherent capabilities to bring enhanced value to our customers. We're broadening our product offerings but still focusing on our strengths in USA manufacturing of wool rugs."
That said, Karastan came to market with something for both spectrums of the customer landscape. On the high end, the company brought not one but two new Axminster additions to its Shapura collection. These are Arabella and Pandora. Each is set to retail for $1,195 for a 5-by-8.
Then, for its more price conscious shopper, Karastan has developed two new sister collections, Elan and Bellingham - each priced at $699 for a 5-by8, that are made in the USA of New Zealand wool in a new Vandeweil construction.

 

* Safavieh came to market with a slew of new introductions with several of its designer license partners as well as a first for its own branded offerings.
The Martha Stewart Collection has expanded with a new grouping of wool dhurries as well as the next generation of the Poppies collection that showed last October. The latter comprises new border looks.
David Easton is offering a new ikat collection that employs a new weave for a sheared Peshawar styling.
To its Thom Filicia program, Safavieh has created new outdoor rugs in larger, bolder patterns than earlier styles and made of recycled plastics.
The Jamie Drake collection is previewing a new assortment of power-loomed jacquard rugs.
And to its our house label, Safavieh is showing three new collections: a new hand-tufted ikat; a new Tibetan grouping made in a loop and cut soumak weave; and the company's first-ever dhurries collection, which encompasses unexpected contemporary designs and sophisticated takes on this flatweave construction.

* Oriental Weavers/Sphinx is responding to shoppers' ongoing penchant for $199 varieties with several new collections that fall into this more value-oriented price.
Stella is a ready-to-wear inspired collection with a variety of looks, including ikats, interpreted in grays and mustards. Revival is another machine-made grouping, but this one mimicking in printed form the antique patchworks of sewn-together prayer rug pieces. Here, however, OW further revamps the approach by offering these rugs in jewel tones. The shag category, too, includes this price with its new Leighton collection of rugs that evoke a cotton candy look and feel.\

* At Couristan's showroom, celebration was in the air as the company fetes its 85th anniversary in business. New collections are many, including: the New Zealand wool-made Castello; the hand-spun bamboo Anji; the jute-and-denim Nature's Elements; the 100% cotton flatweave Bar Harbor; the ikat bamboo-and-wool blended hand spun Sagano; the loop-pile, hand-sheered Botanique; and its newest generations of outdoor rugs, numbering the company's eighth and ninth such collections -- Dolce and Grand Caymen.

* Nourison is showing additions to its license brands -- Calvin Klein and Joseph Abboud, as well as new additions to its own house line.
To Calvin Klein, the company has created the new Lunar grouping of $899 100% viscose, hand-loomed rugs and the Coastal collection of $1,499 high-low flatweave wool rugs.
The Jospeh Abbound line has several new collections, starting with the $598 Monterey grouping of wool-and-polyester hand-tufted rugs made in India, through the $1,239 Chicago collection of hand-made rugs using mixed media such as cotton chenille and animal hide.
For value-conscious customers, Nourison is introducing its new Home & Garden collection. The company recently bought new Chromajet machines from China, explained marketing director Thomas Itty, to create these more promotional casual rugs styles that can retail for $125 but also produce a more high-fashion collection like the new Rainforest for $399.

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